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Celebrity Xcel keel laying ceremony marks new level of excellence for premium cruising

Celebrity Xcel

Construction begins for Celebrity Cruises’ new ship, Celebrity Xcel, set to sail in fall 2025, featuring innovative, sustainable travel experiences.

SAINT-NAZAIRE, FRANCE – The future of elevated travel at sea reached a major milestone, as construction commenced for Celebrity Cruises‘ next ship, Celebrity Xcel. The keel laying ceremony at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France celebrated the momentous occasion for the latest and most elevated vessel in Celebrity’s award-winning Edge Series ships. When she sets sail in the fall of 2025, Celebrity Xcel will connect guests to the breathtaking world around them like never before, furthering the innovative experiences coveted in her sister ships with several new yet-to-be-revealed offerings for an unparalleled premium vacation.

At the ceremony, Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, the parent company of Celebrity Cruises, Laura Hodges Bethge, President of Celebrity Cruises, and Laurent Castaing, General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique lowered the first 739-ton steel block for the new ship in the dry dock. As part of the longstanding maritime tradition, executives from the cruise company and the shipyard placed newly minted coins on the first piece of steel to bestow good luck on the ship during both the construction process and future sailings. Nodding to the new caliber of excellence ushered by the brand’s Edge Series ships, the coin design commemorated another great innovation, NASA’s Saturn V rocket.

“Today, we not only mark the start of construction, but we are laying the foundation on which countless memories will be created,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. “Each new ship also represents an opportunity to advance our journey to net zero, and with Xcel, we are building our first methanol capable ship, which helps advance our transition to the energy platform of the future.”

Celebrity Xcel

“We can’t wait to debut Celebrity Xcel and her unrivaled guest experiences, living up to her name in every way with surprises that confirm ‘Nothing Comes Close’ to a Celebrity vacation,” said Laura Hodges Bethge, president of Celebrity Cruises. “We are grateful for the continued partnership of the Chantiers de l’Atlantique team for lending their craftsmanship to further elevate the innovative design and world-class features of our beloved Edge Series ships.”

“The Edge Series is the result of close collaboration between the Celebrity Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique teams,” continued Laurent Castaing, General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique. “We know and trust one another, and work in harmony to offer a unique and sustainable experience for passengers.”

Pushing the boundaries of leisure travel, Celebrity Xcel will advance Royal Caribbean Group’s decades-long commitment to sustaining the planet with the first tri-fuel capable engine. The new engine will provide unmatched fuel flexibility, with the ability to use three types of fuel, including methanol, a first for the company, and represents an important steppingstone on the company’s journey to Destination Net Zero, its vision for net-zero emissions by 2050.

Celebrity Xcel will make her debut in November 2025 in the Caribbean, sailing her inaugural season from Fort Lauderdale, on seven-night itineraries alternating between the Bahamas, Mexico and the Cayman Islands, Puerto Plata, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. The sailings are now open for booking.

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